Texts to and from co-workers, “Do you wish you were at work, when you get a day off?” are not uncommon during these pandemic days. “Yesssss!” I answer!
I am so relieved to know I’m not the only one who feels this way! And one of my friends texted me Sunday and said, “It’s okay to not want to talk sometimes.” Sunday was one of those days.
It just feels as though we are the only ones who “get” each other right now. If you are interesting in keep your backyard in a good shape, you need to have best tools to make your job easier, in https://lawncareguides.com/ you can find the best tools to work in your garden.
We’ve gotten more free meals than I can count. People have sent sweets of every kind, hand-written notes, pictures drawn by their children, photos of their pets, and even self care kits with nail files and pretty lotions. Drive-by’s to each of the Detroit area hospitals with police cars, fire trucks, and paramedics, as well as community members waving signs at us or honking their horns have been the end to many shifts. I’m so afraid my triglycerides have doubled. You’ve truly spoiled us, and we love and appreciate all of you.
Families of our patients have been more understanding and kind than I’ve ever experienced in my nursing career. They PRAY for us over the phone, and thank us over and over and over for caring for their loved ones. We reassure them that we too, separated from our loved ones, are redirecting all that love toward their family member in the ICU. Every now and then a random person from the community calls to pray for staff. That’s never happened before all of this! I hope it never stops.
My routine for the past 6 weeks when returning home from work has been to walk in, remove my shoes, and go straight to the washing machine. Everything goes in – even my coat. I jump in the shower and decontaminate myself, and then wait to throw everything in the dryer. I usually jump on social media while I wait for the dryer alarm to go off. Sometimes I return a call or two, but most of my calls are made on the way home from work so that I don’t have to talk about work on my “not at work” hours. I’ve gotten really, really good at screening calls in an effort to guard my TIME. I have to.
It’s easy on most nights to scroll past ridiculous conspiracy videos. I’ve had to kindly ask several people to stop sending them to me, and about 99% of them have understood, and listened. But there’s always that 1%. Last night I had a really, really hard time just following the usual “oh, just ignore them,” advice, and had to speak up because I actually lost sleep over a video about how nurses and physicians are KILLING people in the ICU’s. That’s right – leaving them to “rot.” The person claiming all of these things also claimed to be a nurse practitioner, which is incredibly difficult for me to believe. She said she was speaking for her anonymous best friend who works in an ICU and is being forced to KILL her patients, but is afraid to speak up for fear of losing her job. (Really??) Such nonsense. Another post said that family members are often talked into withdrawing care, just so that their organs can be sold. Who knew??
I have gone from angry to heartbroken, and back again as I think not only about this video and the organ donation comments, but about the people I’ve cared for over the years whose families have donated their organs. And I’ve thought about those I’ve cared for in the past six weeks, and lost. Finally I decided this morning to tell the story from a few years ago that I’ve always put off – until now.
I was caring for a patient who did not speak English, whose daughter acted as interpreter for her. We were going down to Interventional Radiology for a procedure where she would be required to lie prone for an uncomfortable amount of time, and because of it being a sterile environment, her daughter was unable to accompany her. There was just no consoling this poor woman who cried hysterically and was unable to lie still. Finally, a nurse from that department, who was not even on the case, pulled up a stool and sat next to her head. I had to watch from the window, as I was not involved in the procedure. For probably two hours, I watched as only he was able to comfort and reassure her – not even in her own language. He stroked the side of her face and hummed to her the entire time. He didn’t have to do that, but he did! I won’t ever forget it. She got through the procedure successfully, and we returned to her ICU room. Now, that’s team work!
This is only one of so many examples of compassion and love that family members and those outside of the hospital and medical community don’t get to see – but I do! And it’s why every time I read something or hear something so insulting and accusatory to the medical community, it makes my heart break. If you’re reading the same ignorant garbage I’m trying my hardest to scroll past, I sincerely hope you find this encouraging because it is simply NOT TRUE. This blog is for you.
That nurse’s name was Matt, and he is still just as caring and compassionate today as he was the day he cared so well for my patient.
If you’re a family member, I sure wish you could see how well your loved ones are cared for – even when no one is looking.
If you’ve let a loved one go and donated their organs, you have lived through probably the most horribly difficult decision you’ve ever had to make. I thank GOD your loved one had YOU to trust in a time when they were unable to make decisions for themselves. Please don’t feel guilty or second guess your decision. It was quite possibly the most selfless thing both of you ever did, and you are admired by the entire medical community – not to mention by the recipient of any organs that may have provided LIFE for someone else. On behalf of them – THANK YOU!
I’m so proud of my team.
Please consider becoming an organ donor today.